“In my country, writing is a dangerous occupation. Writers are not allowed to talk about history, or to criticize the present, let alone fantasize about the future. Many words cannot be written, many things cannot be spoken.” [Murong Xuecun]
Yan [Lianke] believes the controls imposed on authors by the state are matched by the unwitting psychological shackles produced by years of self-censorship. “This is instinctual. This has been cultivated for decades, by three generations of authors. It already entered the bloodstreams of our forebears, and they passed it on to us.” After six decades of government censorship, China’s own modified velvet prison, complete with shifting gray zone, may have become a state of mind.
“The Gray Zone: How Chinese Writers Elude Censors”, Louisa Lim and Jeffrey Wasserstrom